TEXTUAL HERMENEUTICS: A PATCHWORK OR A WHOLE WOVEN CLOAK? (Hermeneutyka tekstów: patchwork czy szata calodziana?)
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In spite of the title, this article is not devoted exclusively to the issue of either unity or dispersion of the achievements of the branch of hermeneutics called (as distinct from philosphical hermeneutics) textual hermeneutics. The extreme form of this unity (as well as continuity) is symbolised here by the 'whole woven cloak'; while the extreme form of non-coherence is referred to as a 'patchwork' with an irregular pattern (the authoress was inspired here by Gadamer's statement that 'the word 'text' really refers to a fabric'). Based on this distinction, the authoress presents a provisional outline of her main thesis: the theory of hermeneutics, with a tradition reaching back to the Stoics' reflections on Homer, represents a continuity, which has been becoming unbreakable since the nineteenth century, while the practice of hermeneutics, initially a regular patchwork (which since the days Schleiermacher has incorporated the psychological aspect, i.e., the personality of the author) shaped by canonical norms, has striven and strives towards freedom, resembling a 'crazy' patchwork, i.e., such in which the sewing on of indiviudal patches is the work of momentary inspiration. The article also emphasises a number of important elements in Gadamer's hermeneutical philosophy which are not sufficiently stressed today. These include the use of the ideas originating from ancient Greece, such as the role of dialogue in bringing about understanding (the influence of Gadamer's study of Plato over many years). The authoress also recalls the influence of Gadamer's thinking on the musicology of H.H. Eggeebrecht, and pays attention to Gadamer's hermeneutical praxis; his studies of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century poetry. These studies bring Gadamer (otherwise regarded as the creator of philosophical hermeneutics) into the hermeneutic of texts - in its modern version, only loosely connected with the canon.
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